Curlew SandpiperCalidris ferruginea

adult male, breeding
Michael P. Gage/VIREO
R. J. Chandler/VIREO
adult, nonbreeding
Dr. Warwick Tarboton/VIREO
Curlew Sandpiper



8" (20 cm). Similar in size and shape to Dunlin, but entire bill noticeably curved. Summer adults are rich cinnamon or chestnut. Winter birds gray above and white below. Immatures have buff breast, upperparts marked with buff scaling. White rump visible in flight.


A soft dry chirrip.


various calls


Breeds on tundra; chiefly coastal mudflats on migration.


Breeds in Eurasia and very rarely in northern Alaska. A rare but regular migrant to East Coast, less common on West Coast. Winters mainly in Old World.


Except for a small area on the Arctic coast of Alaska, where it is a rarity, this Old World species breeds solely in northern Siberia. During spring migration the adults are in their bright chestnut breeding plumage and, with their curved bills and white rumps, are easily distinguished in the field from their usual associates, the Red Knots and Dunlins. However, on fall migration in their dull winter plumage they are much more difficult to spot among the hordes of other shorebirds.


4 yellow-buff eggs, with dark brown spots, in a depression on the ground in tundra.

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